The Phoenix Suns are going to run the ball more this year than last to try and make up for some of their size disadvantages and to take advantage of the depth at the wing positions.
To do that, they need to be in great physical shape. Coach Alvin Gentry made that a priority for this year's training camp and the players definitely saw a difference.
"I would say that was the hardest training camp in these three years," back-up guard Goran Dragic said.
Goran explained that, unlike most practices where there's a little down time in between activities, this year there was no rest.
"All the time we were in motion. All the time we were running sprints. So, I would say this year we're going to be more prepared than last year."
New Sun Hakim Warrick agreed that this training camp was different than anything he's experienced in the NBA and as he describes it, there's a method to the pain.
"Everybody watches and sees how fun it is, but they don't see all the hard work to become full-time, run-and-gun team," Warrick said.
"I think we can take some teams' legs away in the fourth quarter, especially with the depth we have to keep throwing fresh guys out there and playing a full-court game, both offensively and defensively. You keep throwing guys out there and I think you can take a toll on some teams."
Hakim had no complaints about his new team's approach.
"It was tough. I was sore. (My) legs really took a pounding, but I think it will make me better."
- Warrick said that playing with a lot of guys who can play a lot of different positions, it will be important for him to be flexible and adjust his game based on who he's on the court with. If he's playing next to Robin Lopez, he will be more of a pick and pop, space the floor guy, but when playing with Channing Frye, he's going to roll to the basket more and play in the paint.
- "It's just knowing who you're in there with and trying to be ready," Warrick said about his role as part of the Suns' deep bench.
- Goran Dragic is entering his third year in the NBA and, after having a breakout season last year, says he's more relaxed and confident than ever.
- Dragic is looking forward to playing against his fellow Slovenian, Beno Udrih, tomorrow in the team's first preseason game.
- "It's the first game for our team for everybody to see where we are at and how much we have to improve our game and hopefully we're going to win," Dragic said.
- The second unit chemistry is still a work in progress and Goran wouldn't put a time-table on how long it might take, but he certainly had a goal in mind for where he thinks it can be.
- "(Last year) we develop the great chemistry. We were on the court and off the court like a family and hopefully this year it's going to be the same."
- Dragic said rookie combo guard Matt Janning has shown that he can shoot the ball and put it on the floor, but as Goran said, he now needs to demonstrate that in a game.
- "I think so he's going to be all right," Dragic said.